Match 38 Preview: Battle Royale for Warriors at Fort Jaipur

Rajasthan Royals playing their 9th match are eyeing top position. Pune Warriors on the other hand have shockingly been sent to the bottom of the table after their 5 consecutive defeates. Royals can sense the chance of an easy victory, Pune Warriors know they can not lose any more now, if they want to rejoin the knockout phase race.

Both teams have never played against each other although the players have played against each other.

2011 Performances
They drubbed their prey Deccan Chargers easily and then went on to thump Delhi Daredevils. But after that they had to play two back-to-back matches against Kolkata Knight Riders. In third match, their record of defending totals above 145 runs was broken against KKR, and in fourth match at Edens, they scored the third-ever lowest score of IPL, losing it againt to KKR. Kings XI had further humiliation in store for RR. Last match not only saw them humiliating Kochi Tuskers, but more important saw Watson, Warne and Dravid performance that promises bigger show in future matches. Botha, their best batsman with his allround performance drubbed the invincible appearing Mumbai Indians, when Royals bowled them for one of the lowest IPL scores.

Pune Warriors had a good start and lost momentum later with 5 losses on trot now. Both matches they won batting second, but lost third match in high scoring game when they had to defend. In the first match they defeated Kings XI by 7-wickets, while in 2nd match defeated Kochi Tuskers by 4-wickets. But, against Delhi Daredevils at home, their bowlers failed to defend the high total. Mumbai Indians forced them into submission with bowling. In the last match, the batsmen failed to chase a low total against CSK. In the back-to-back match against CSK, they failed to defend almost the same target. Against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last match, except Yuvi, the bowlers and batsmen succumbed.

Player’s Performance
Rajasthan Royals player performance index shows better batting, with five batsmen touching 100-mark, but the highest is still just 177 by Botha. Their bowlers have taken 31 wickets in 8 matches, with Warne being the joint 2nd best bowler of the tournament so far.

Pune Warrior’s player performance index is not so high-profile. Yuvraj has joined Ryder and Uthappa in 100-plus club. Mithun is just 10-runs away from joining the club. Their bowlers are performing better earning 35 wickets in 7 matches, but batting is failing to back-up.

Who Will Win Today!
5 defeats on a trot with batting needing drastic change in approach is enough to consider Warriors will lose their 6th match today, when they play Rajasthan Royals who are bubbling with confidence after defeating the strongest team of 2011, Mumbai Indians. Royals are playing again at home and their bowling, specially spin led by Warne automatically makes them favorite. But, their batting is struggling with Watson and Taylor yet to make substantial score. This gives Warriors a big chance to win as they have bowlers to send Royals packing. Batting of Warriors, is overall better than Royals and if Yuvraj shows the determination to tackle Warne and co, Royals are in for a shock defeat. Warriors need a win badly, and they have the best chance to do so today, although Jaipur as venue has favored Royals more. Yuvraj knows what improvement is required, and his team will win the match.

Key Battles
Watson vs Ryder
Both are allrounders, although Watson is World Class and Ryder is still to get back to his old form. Watson has not been so successful in IPL so far. Ryder is improving with every match, mainly with bat. Both will open the innings and bowl complete quote of overs unless opponents take them from the horns and hit them out. The winner of the clash between these two will see his team in a comfortable position to win.

Warne vs Yuvraj
This should be the battle worth watching. As captain Warne is more astute, but Yuvraj has also shown good temperament as captain this season. He has also been very successful as batsmen, although he is almost fighting the lone battle. Warne on the other hand knows if he can pluck Yuvi out, he will have the match on his feat. Yuvraj, aware of his crucial role in deciding the fate of the match, may be forced to play a more responsible-yet-attacking game. Here the winner will lead his team to victory.

Ross Taylor vs Uthappa
Both have tasted success in previous editions of IPL, opponents fear them, and both have played together for RCB before. Now as opponents they have the challenge to outgun each other when it comes to slogging. Taylor has failed to score much, and is lacking they rhythem. Uthappa on the other hand has his own issues. But if these two shoot, opponent will be on mat. Who will shoot today is the big question!!

Rajasthan Royals Squad
Batsman: Ross Taylor, Rahul Dravid, Swapnil Asnodkar, Amit Singh, Ankeet Chavan, Aakash Chopra, Faiz Fazal, Amit Paunikar, Ajinkya Rahane, Pinal Shah(WK), Dishant Harendra Yagnik (WK)
Allrounder: Shane Watson, Paul Collingwood, Dinesh Salunkhe
Bowlers: Shane Warne (Captain), Shaun Tait, Stuart Binny, Aditya Dole, Nayan Doshi, Samad Fallah, Ashok Menaria, Sumit Narwal, Pankaj Singh, Abhishek Raut, Siddharth Trivedi

Pune Warrior Squad
Batsman: Yuvraj Singh (Captain), Mitchell Marsh, Callum Ferguson, Tim Paine (WK), Graeme Smith, Manish Pandey, Eklavya Dwivedi, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Harshad Khadiwale, Mohnish Mishra, Robin Uthappa (WK)
Allrounder: Nathan McCullum, Angelo Mathews, Jesse Ryder, Mithun Manhas
Bowlers: Wayne Parnell, Jerome Taylor, Alfonso Thomas, Ashish Nehra, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Kamran Khan, Murali Kartik, Ganesh Gaikwad, Harpreet Singh, Dheeraj Jadhav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shrikant Mundhe, Sachin Rana, Rahul Sharma, Shrikant Wagh

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